GMCA sets out plan to deliver smarter local energy system

Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) Local Energy Market project has set out ambitious plans to revolutionise the use and distribution of energy across the region by supporting a low carbon future with the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2038.

The Local Energy Market sees GMCA work in collaboration with the 10 local authorities of Greater Manchester to draw up plans to increase energy efficiency and pave the way for the installation of new technologies creating a low-carbon infrastructure which will support all of its areas in the future.

GMCA’s project forms part of the combined authority’s vision for the North West to become a UK leader in tackling the global climate emergency issue whilst supporting a green recovery.

The development of the Local Energy Market consists of a consortium of 12 partners who have appointed a centre of excellence to support the development of Local Area Energy Plans across Greater Manchester.

This approach looks at all types of buildings, transport systems, local industry, local renewable energy generation, storage and distribution assets across the area’s 10 districts to help better understand how energy can be generated, distributed and used in the future.

A place-based approach, it brings stakeholders together to ensure at the end of every pipe and wire is an informed household or business making low carbon decisions with the best evidence.

Greater Manchester will also be the first place to utilise a new digital place-based public engagement and consultation process, helping inform residents about the low carbon options that might be available in their neighbourhood and will receive feedback and insight about their preferences.

Local Area Energy Plans can provide a solid foundation to support both local authorities, businesses and individual households make decisions to cost effectively cut carbon emissions.

It also includes the options for decarbonised heating, local energy generation and storage and development of private and public electric vehicle charging across Greater Manchester.

Building on an initial pilot, the first Local Area Energy Plan is being developed for Bury and is expected to be consulted on in late spring, with Manchester and Salford following later in the summer.

Each of the other boroughs will follow until early 2022.

Commenting, GMCA Lead for Green City-Region and Leader of Trafford Council, Councillor Andrew Western said: “This marks a key step in this innovative project being pioneered here in Greater Manchester and one that will be a key element of our carbon neutral ambitions by 2038.

“The local area energy plans will help us optimise our energy consumption through localised systems in each of the 10 boroughs, making it more efficient and cost-effective for residents and businesses. This is the first project of its kind to be delivered at this scale.

“This is the smart way forward and working together with our partners we can lay the groundwork for a low carbon future.”

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